Thumbs Down: Internet Explorer 7

October 4, 2007 psipsina

This product, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks ass.  I only installed it because I make web software, and I have to support it, which means I have to test it.

The thing I hate most is the way fully 1/4 of the screen real estate is devoted to navigation.  Some of this is because their idea of “small icons” is kind of like the “large icons” from IE 6.  Do they think the collective eyesight of the world has deterioriated that much?  It’s like Microsoft is in collusion with monitor manufacturers, because if I keep using this hog of a browser, I am going to need a bigger screen.

The thing I hate second most is the fact that, by default, the menu bar does not appear.  I am an Internet addict, and as I mentioned, I make web software for a living, and it took me a bloody half hour to figure out how to get it back.  How long might it take for the casual Internet user who doesn’t spend hours every day on a browser?  What were they thinking?

The thing I hate third most is, where in the name of all that is holy is the g-d History button?  I use that thing all the time, and I’m damned if I can find it.

At work and at home, I switch back and forth between IE and Firefox a lot.  I know that most techies wet themselves over how wonderful Firefox is, but actually, I don’t like it all that much.  For one thing, Firefox has this holier-than-thou attitude about web standards.  However, quite a lot of web software is developed and tested only against IE, which plays fast and loose with the standards.  This means that a lot of stuff just doesn’t work on Firefox.  It’s irrelevant that Firefox has the moral high ground if I can’t get a site to work and have to use IE anyway.  Also, Firefox has this bizarre command-line interface that you need to use for things like setting the caching behavior of the browser, which means every time I need to instruct my browser never to cache a page (something I do now and then when testing software at work), I have to look up the command.  (Is it browser.cache.check_doc_frequency or browser.cache.disk.enable?  And should it equal 0, 1, 2, or 3?  Why should I need to know this stuff?)  IE has a GUI for this sort of thing, a GUI with human readable language like “Never cache this page.”)

So now I’m stuck in a situation where I have a lot of stuff that would be easier to do in IE (or is even completely impossible in Firefox), but the UI pisses me off.

What I really want is IE 6 – I wonder if I can get it back.

The only point in IE 7’s favor is that the Full Screen command actually IS full screen – no navigation appears at all unless I mouse over the top.  But I’m not too impressed by this feature.  Given the fact that the navigation hogs up screen real estate like a real estate developer in Boston, it’s the least they could do.

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Entry Filed under: internet explorer 7, microsoft, rant, stupid, technology, thumbs down

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